Skip to content

Understanding Physics

Spend $50 to get a free DVD!

ISBN-10: 0470746378

ISBN-13: 9780470746370

Edition: 2nd 2010

Authors: Michael Mansfield, Colm O'Sullivan

List price: $46.50
Blue ribbon 30 day, 100% satisfaction guarantee!
Buy eBooks
what's this?
Rush Rewards U
Members Receive:
Carrot Coin icon
XP icon
You have reached 400 XP and carrot coins. That is the daily max!


Understanding Physics Second Edition will be a comprehensive introductory physics textbook aimed at physics undergraduates as well as engineers and other scientists taking a general physics course. Written with today's students in mind, this text covers the core material required by an introductory course in a clear and refreshing way. A second colour will be used throughout to enhance learning and understanding. The textbook will begin with chapters on understanding the physical universe and then using mathematical tools in physics. Chapters 3 and 4 will discuss the causes of motion, dynamics and motion in two and three dimensions. Fields and energy, many-body interactions and rigid body…    
Customers also bought

Book details

List price: $46.50
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Limited
Publication date: 11/26/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 694
Size: 8.50" wide x 11.00" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 3.630
Language: English

Understanding the physical universe
The programme of physics
The building blocks of matter
Matter in bulk
The fundamental interactions
Exploring the physical universe: the scientific method
The role of physics: its scope and applications
Using mathematical tools in physics
Applying the scientific method
The use of variables to represent displacement and time
Representation of data
The use of differentiation in analysis: velocity and acceleration in linear motion
The use of integration in analysis
Maximum and minimum values of physical variables: general linear motion
Angular motion: the radian
The role of mathematics in physics
Worked examples
The causes of motion: dynamics
The concept of force
The first law of dynamics (Newton's first law)
The fundamental dynamical principle (Newton's second law)
Systems of units: SI
Time dependent forces: oscillatory motion
Simple harmonic motion
Mechanical work and energy: power
Energy in simple harmonic motion
Dissipative forces: damped harmonic motion
Forced oscillations
Nonlinear dynamics: chaos
Worked examples
Motion in two and three dimensions
Vector physical quantities
Vector algebra
Velocity and acceleration vectors
Force as a vector quantity: vector form of the laws of dynamics
Constraint forces
Motion in a circle: centripetal force
Motion in a circle at constant speed
Tangential and radial components of acceleration
Hybrid motion: the simple pendulum
Angular quantities as vectors: the cross product
Worked examples
Force fields
Newton's law of universal gravitation
Force fields
The concept of flux
Gauss' law for gravitation
Motion in a constant uniform field: projectiles
Mechanical work and energy
Energy in a constant uniform field
Energy in an inverse square law field
Moment of a force: angular momentum
Planetary motion: circular orbits
Planetary motion: elliptical orbits and Kepler's laws
Worked examples
Many-body interactions
Newton's third law
The principle of conservation of momentum
Mechanical energy of a system of particles
Particle decay
Particle collisions
The centre of mass of a system
The two-body problem: reduced mass
Angular momentum of a system of particles
Conservation principles in physics
Worked examples
Rigid body dynamics
Rigid bodies
Rigid bodies in equilibrium: statics
Dynamics of rigid bodies
Measurement of torque: the torsion balance
Rotation of a rigid body about a fixed axis: moment of inertia
Calculation of moments of inertia: the parallel axis theorem
Conservation of angular momentum of rigid bodies
Conservation of mechanical energy in rigid body systems
Work done by a torque: torsional oscillations: rotational power
Gyroscopic motion
Summary: connection between rotational and translational motions
Worked examples
Relative motion
Applicability of Newton's laws of motion: inertial reference frames
The Galilean transformation
The CM (centre-of-mass) reference frame
Example of a noninertial frame: centrifugal force
Motion in a rotating frame: the Coriolis force
The Foucault pendulum
Practical criteria for inertial frames: the local view
Worked examples
Special relativity
The velocity of light
The principle of relativity
Consequences of the principle of relativity
The Lorentz transformation
The Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction
Time dilation
Paradoxes in special relativity
Relativistic transformation of velocity
Momentum in relativistic mechanics
Four-vectors: the energy-momentum 4-vector
Energy-momentum transformations: relativistic energy conservation
Relativistic energy: mass-energy equivalence
Units in relativistic mechanics
Mass-energy equivalence in practice
General relativity
Simultaneity: quantitative analysis of the twin paradox
Worked examples
Continuum mechanics: mechanical properties of materials
Dynamics of continuous media
Elastic properties of solids
Fluids at rest
Elastic properties of fluids
Pressure in gases
Archimedes' principle
Fluid dynamics
Surface properties of liquids
Boyle's law (Mariotte's law)
A microscopic theory of gases
The mole
Interatomic forces: modifications to the kinetic theory of gases
Microscopic models of condensed matter systems
Worked examples
Thermal physics
Friction and heating
Temperature scales
Heat capacities of thermal systems
Comparison of specific heat capacities: calorimetry
Thermal conductivity
Thermal radiation
Thermal expansion
The first law of thermodynamics
Change of phase: latent heat
The equation of state of an ideal gas
Isothermal, isobaric and adiabatic processes: free expansion
The Carnot cycle
Entropy and the second law of thermodynamics
The Helmholtz and Gibbs functions
Microscopic interpretation of temperature
Polyatomic molecules: principle of equipartition of energy
Ideal gas in a gravitational field: the 'law of atmospheres'
Ensemble averages and distribution functions
The distribution of molecular velocities in an ideal gas
Distribution of molecular speeds, momenta and energies
Microscopic interpretation of temperature and heat capacity in solids
Worked examples
Wave Motion
Characteristics of wave motion
Representation of a wave which is travelling in one dimension
Energy and power in a wave motion
Plane and spherical waves
Huygen's principle: the laws of reflection and refraction
Interference between waves
Interference of waves passing through openings: diffraction
Standing waves
The Doppler effect
The wave equation
Waves along a string
Waves in elastic media: longitudinal waves in a solid rod
Waves in elastic media: sound waves in gases
Superposition of two waves of slightly different frequencies: wave and group velocities
Other waveforms: Fourier analysis
Worked examples
Introduction to quantum mechanics
Physics at the beginning of the twentieth century
The blackbody radiation problem
The photoelectric effect
The X-ray continuum
The Compton effect: the photon model
The de Broglie hypothesis: electron waves
Interpretation of wave-particle duality
The Heisenberg uncertainty principle
The wavefunction: expectation values
The Schr�dinger (wave mechanical) method
The free particle
The time-independent Shr�dinger equation: eigenfunctions and eigenvalues
The infinite square potential well
The potential step
Other potential wells and barriers
The simple harmonic oscillator
Further implications of quantum mechanics
Worked examples
Electric currents
Electric currents
Force between currents
The unit of electric current
Heating effect revisited: electrical resistance
Strength of a power supply: emf
Resistance of a circuit
Potential difference
Effect of internal resistance
Comparison of emfs: the potentiometer
Multiloop circuits
Kirchhoff's rules
Comparison of resistances: the Wheatstone bridge
Power supplies connected in parallel
Variation of resistance with temperature
Worked examples
Electric fields
The electric charge model
Interpretation of electric current in terms of charge
Electric fields: electric field strength
Force between point charges: Coulomb's law
Electric flux and electric flux density
Electric fields due to systems of point charges
Gauss' law for electrostatics
Potential difference in electric fields: electric potential
Acceleration of charged particles
Dielectric materials
Capacitors in series and in parallel
Charge and discharge of a capacitor through a resistor
Worked examples
Magnetic fields
The work of Amp�re, Biot and Savart
Magnetic pole strength
Magnetic field strength
Amp�re's law
The Biot-Savart law
Applications of the Biot-Savart law
Magnetic flux and magnetic flux density
Magnetic fields due to systems of poles
Forces between magnets
Forces between currents and magnets
The permeability of vacuum
Current loop in a magnetic field
Magnetic dipoles and magnetic materials
Moving coil meters and electric motors
Magnetic fields due to moving charges
Force on an electric charge in a magnetic field
Magnetic dipole moments of charged particles in closed orbits
Electric and magnetic fields in moving reference frames
Worked examples
Electromagnetic induction: time-varying emfs
The principle of electromagnetic induction
Simple applications of electromagnetic induction
The series L-R circuit
Discharge of a capacitor through an inductor and resistor
Time-varying emfs: mutual inductance: transformers
Alternating current (a.c.)
Alternating current transformers
Resistance, capacitance and inductance in a.c. circuits
The series L-C-R circuit: phasor diagrams
Power in an a.c. circuit
Worked examples
Maxwell's equations: electromagnetic radiation
Reconsideration of the laws of electromagnetism: Maxwell's equations
Plane electromagnetic waves
Experimental observation of electromagnetic radiation
The electromagnetic spectrum
Polarisation of electromagnetic waves
Energy, momentum and angular momentum in electromagnetic waves
Reflection of electromagnetic waves at an interface between nonconducting media
Electromagnetic waves in a conducting medium
The photon model revisited
Invariance of electromagnetism under the Lorentz transformation
Worked examples
Electromagnetic nature of light
Coherence: the laser
Diffraction at a single slit
Two slit interference and diffraction: Young's double slit experiment
Multiple slit interference: the diffraction grating
Diffraction of X-rays: Bragg scattering
The ray model: geometrical optics
Reflection of light
Image formation by spherical mirrors
Refraction of light
Refraction at successive plane interfaces
Image formation by spherical lenses
Image formation of extended objects: magnification
Dispersion of light
Worked examples
Atomic physics
Atomic models
The spectrum of hydrogen: the Rydberg formula
The Bohr postulates
The Bohr theory of the hydrogen atom
The quantum mechanical (Schr�dinger) solution of the one-electron atom
The radial solutions of the lowest energy state of hydrogen
Interpretation of the one-electron atom eigenfunctions
Intensities of spectral lines: selection rules
Quantisation of angular momentum
Magnetic effects in one-electron atoms: the Zeeman effect
The Stern-Gerlach experiment: electron spin
The spin-orbit interaction
Identical particles in quantum mechanics: the Pauli exclusion principle
The periodic table: multielectron atoms
The theory of multielectron atoms
Further uses of the solutions of the one-electron atom
Worked examples
Electrons in solids: quantum statistics
Bonding in molecules and solids
The classical free electron model of solids
The quantum mechanical free electron model of solids: Fermi energy
The electron energy distribution at 0 K
Electron energy distributions at T > 0 K
Specific heat and conductivity in the quantum free electron model
The band theory of solids
Junctions in conductors and semiconductors: p-n junctions
The transistor
The Hall effect
Quantum statistics: systems of bosons
Worked examples
Nuclear physics, particle physics and astrophysics
Properties of atomic nuclei
Nuclear binding energies
Nuclear models
a-, b- and g-decay
Detection of radiation: units of radioactivity
Nuclear reactions
Nuclear fission and nuclear fusion
Fission reactors
Thermonuclear fusion
Subnuclear particles
The quark model
The physics of stars
The origin of the Universe
Worked examples
Answers to problems
Mathematical rules and formulas
Some fundamental physical constants
Some astrophysical and geophysical data
Inside front cover: Summary of notations used in text
Inside back cover: The periodic table (Appendix D)